Jul 012014
 

Back in the early days of this blog, I used to write a lot about the workouts I did. I was focusing on running and I used to run the waterfront loop during my lunch hour (man, I have so many fond memories of that). On the weekends Michael and I used to ride our bikes on the 40 mile Springwater Loop around Portland. These were the focuses of my blog. Weight lifting was pretty non-existent on 110pounds.com. I just didn’t like it. I didn’t really spend much time on it and didn’t see any changes in my body as a result. I thought it was a waste of time. Boy was I wrong. Several injuries that sidelined me from biking or running meant I had to find SOMETHING I could do. That’s when I started lifting weights.

Funny, when you lift weights FOR REAL, like it’s your main focus, several times a week for months on end–you DO see results! Who knew? That started the love affair with weight lifting. Once I saw a change and felt a change, I was convinced. I haven’t done a post in a long time about what kind of work I’m doing in the gym. I wanted to share what my favorite workouts are lately in this post.

Kettlebell High Pull

This is one that I learned at The Warrior Room but with two kettlebells. At first it was hard and I didn’t quite get it. I kept dropping my elbows but once I practiced a bit and found my rhythm it was easy and FUN. Check out this video on how to do the High Pull. Fast-forward to about 45 seconds in to see a demonstration of the move. The video is only using one kettle bell and when I do it, I use two. Currently I’m using two 15 pound kettlebells. This isn’t a great picture, but it gives you an idea:

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Kettlebell Swing

This is the basic swing, one move you learn on day one with kettlebells. I’m currently using a 30 pound kettlebell. I could probably go up to 35 but I tend to air on the side of caution when it comes to increasing my weights. I know, I know, if I want to see progress I need to up the weight! I try my best but my history with injury has made me overly cautious and as such, I tend to get stuck in ruts for awhile before I go up in weight.

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One Leg Romanian Dead Lift

This one can be done with free weights or with kettlebells, whichever feels most comfortable with you. I love this exercise because it reminds me just how imbalanced my body is. One side is ALWAYS more wobbly than the other. I also notice that if I take a break from doing this exercise I lose whatever balance improvements I’ve gained pretty quickly. I am currently using two 15 pound weights for this exercise. I’d like to go up to 17.5 pounds soon but I keep having setbacks and have to start over again.

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Chest Press

There is nothing flashy or fancy about this exercise but it’s functional and I notice a difference when I do it consistently. I lay down on the bench and then do a few sets of presses with a 30 or 35 pound barbell. I could probably increase to 40 pounds any day now if I’d stop being so cautious. :) This is a move that helps me with day to day life. For example, Michael and I recently bought a new bookcase and had to move the old one into the office and then move the new one to the living room. These were very large, very heavy pieces and while there was no way I could life it all by myself, it was certainly easy with the both of us and I did not struggle with carrying the weight. Yay for weightlifting!

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Leg Abductions/Adductions

This exercise is something I’ve been doing for awhile, on and off depending on what kind of resources I have handy. My physical therapist suggested I do this to strengthen my glutes (when I was trying everything I could to fix my knees). It works. I can feel it! I use one of the machines at the gym and do both legs. If I don’t have access to the machine, or I’m at home, it can be done with those stretchy bands, but I like the machine better.

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Bird Dog

This one is a suggestion from my physical therapist, as well as a yoga move. It’s a funny name but it is so beneficial–for runners, for anyone with muscle imbalance or chronic injury. It works on the core as well as the glutes and hamstrings. I work this move into my abs workouts.

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The Result

A recent workout included all of the above moves, plus a few other various things (some balance exercises, ab exercises and weight machines), 15 minutes of the elliptical and 10 minutes of stretching. This was the calorie burn:

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Not bad, huh? I’m working on strengthening my core and still working on my glutes. I know they are a weak part of my body and if I’m going to be serious about getting back to running I need to focus on my weaknesses or this will never stick! I’m glad I’ve been sticking with the weight lifting. The focus may change (I go back and forth in focus between the glutes, triceps and abs) but the bottom line doesn’t: lifting weights makes me feel better and stronger. Read these two interesting articles I found:

7 Strength Training Myths Every Woman Should Know

Why Women Don’t (But Should) Lift Weights

If you’re on the fence about starting a strength training program, I recommend you give it a chance–at least for a few weeks. Give it four weeks of 2-3 sessions each week and you WILL see a change. It might be a change on the scale (most likely a loss!), you might notice you are stronger, you might feel better or you might notice some muscle definition you never had before. Sure you won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger after just a month of lifting weights, but trust me. If you stick with it, you will see a difference. Ladies: don’t be intimidated! You have every right to be there with the guys and show them what you got! Don’t be shy! I let my shyness keep me away for far too long. I am so glad I learned to love weights!

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Jan 272014
 


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I haven’t seen a number that big in a LONG time. 951 calories burned! Holy Smokes!

We did our warm-up and then got right into it. Saturday was a day of new things at the Warrior Room. We started with a workout where we did pushups for 20 seconds and then a plank for 20 seconds, rest, repeat 8 times. Yes 8 times! It was a hard start to the day but I got through it.

We moved onto the station workout. One station was a deadlift, goblet squat and another kind of squat (I can never remember the name). We did that 6 reps, 6 reps, 3 reps then repeat. The next station was a bent over row with the kettle bell, lat raises, and jumping jack planks. The next station was hammer curls with kettle bells and triceps. Finally there was a one-handed swing station with a few other moves. It was hard work! I was feeling it with just one time around the stations.

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Then it was time for a run.

It was a bitter cold morning but sunny and blue-skied. The big group broke up into two teams to do a “snake run.” I’ve described this before: you run in a single file line, the last person does a sprint to the front and so on. It’s really challenging but for me with my knees–sprinting is not wise. Thankfully Ashley told me to just go run outside at my own pace. Wise idea. We did the run every 20 minutes to break up the kettle bell workouts. I ended up run/walking about 1 mile total.

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We did a few different sets of abs and honestly that felt like a bit of a break from the super intense stuff we were doing before. After the abs we did a routine similar to the pushup-plank one. This time it was squat jumps for 20 seconds then holding a squat for 10 seconds–repeat 8 times. Ouch! My thighs were BURNING after three rounds. I wasn’t sure I could make it to 8, but I did with taking it easy and going a little slower during my 20 second set.

There was a few other station workouts and another ab sets and then we did something I’ve only heard about before: the Turkish Getup. Michael talks about this move a lot. It’s part of his kettle bell routine at home. He’s been telling me how challenging it is for years but I never tried it. It was fun but HARD. Mostly hard because it was the end of the workout and I was spent. My arm was shaking as I tried to hold myself up.

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The Turkish Getup seems like a very efficient move to me. It works your entire body and relies on strength AND balance. I think I did ok. The part that was hard for me (other than holding myself up) was the move to get your leg under your body to get ready to stand up. That is gonna take a lot of practice I think!

Later that night, I had some friends over for dinner and a little crafting. It was time to send the save-the-date postcards. Well, according to bridal website calendars I was months behind on this but oh well. I don’t know that save-the-dates necessarily need to go out a year in advance. Plus, most people who are invited already know the date. :)

Michael created out postcard with photoshop. He did a fantastic job and I love the way it looks. We mailed a few test postcards to see how they’d hold up in the mail. They did ok. Most of the “test” ones held up, one or two were  a little torn. I searched for the heaviest paper/postcard paper I could find and couldn’t find anything heavier than what I got.

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Michael printed out all the postcards and I invited my bridesmaids over for dinner (bribe) and to help address and stamp the cards. I was so glad they helped! I think hand-cramping would have set in around postcard #40….

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Michael made his amazing mac n’ cheese, my cousin Anna brought some white wine and we got started! We ate dinner (so good) and then cleaned up before starting the postcards. Anna was smart bringing white wine instead of red! But we got lucky, no spills or anything. :) It was fun and having Erika and Anna there to help me we were done with the post cards pretty quickly. We spent the rest of the evening chatting and just hanging out. I was happy to have the company AND to cross one more thing off the to-do list.

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